Anybody I have ever talked to says that horror film screenplays follow a completely different set of rules and formats. I had always taken a non shalant attitude towards them in general. My theory was, "A bunch of kids somehow congregate in somewhere in some woods or something. Some crazy circus animal shows up in a mask wielding a metal sharp thing of some sorts and well.... The rest is history." The characters in these "slasher/supernatural" films are one dimensional and are basically props for our demented appeitite for blood and destruction. There are exceptions to the rule. See List below:
1. The Shining
2. Rosemary's Baby
3. The Exorcist
5. Cannibal Holocaust
I had always wanted to write a good Slasher flick. My slasher flick was to be handled a little differently. I wanted to keep all the great qualities of the '80's style horror flick such as, old style effects in gore, cheesy Whitesnake big hair music, mystery machine vans, pot smoking hippies... You know the rest. The difference would be, the kids that normally posed as slabs of meat waiting to be selected by the meat cutter, would actually have stories. The atmosphere would have a story as well. For example and I hate to use this because it kind of blows my cover on a little of the story I stole off of to tell mine, but in 'Delieverance,' the film/book wasn't about four old koots taking off in their canoes down a river just to end up getting caught by a couple of imbred bumpkins who well treat them to a taste of backwood hospitality. It's about riding the river one last time before it disappears due to growth in industry around it. It's about getting out in the wilderness at the ages they are. It's about four friends who have all let life change them in different ways and how they try to get back to the good things during the weekend. Around all that, comes the horror of what happens after the boats hit the river.
All the drama and set up makes the horror way more harder to stomach after you meet these guys. That is what I am going to try and do. I want the audience to like these kids and yes, even though they know the inevitable outcome, they almost fear the moment the nightmare begins because they like these guys so much.
In typing the first 25 pages, I realize I have plot holes and will have to do some reverse engineering to make it perfect, but it is a start.
I use to crank these things out in weeks flat, but then would spend three months to a year rewriting. I found, writing ten to fifteen pages at a sitting, then taking time off, bouncing the ideas around in my head and then going at it again, gets me closer the first time around. One of the most exciting elements of this venture, is that it will be the first feature screenplay, I will have written in almost six years. I wrote two shorts, ghost writed four of my friends', and written 30 pages of an incompleted one since-- But this one, will be the first feature I complete.
I kind of walked away from it, because let's be honest. If you don't have the means to make the film or don't have some kind of clout or know somebody that can get you in a literary agency somewhere, you are really just doing it to make yourself feel good. I have LSD, cocaine and tequila to do that with.
A quick inked sketch of one of my Demented Circus Animals I drew on a 2 hour ferry ride to Ocracoke Island.
Keep up with the all the horror.HERE
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